Remember to take advantage of the work the children have done over the year both in the classroom and in different enrichment classes. Encourage them to organize some free time at home. Practice ballet, draw a picture, write a story about what they see out the window.., practice their Spanish words, stand in front of a mirror and practice karate, etc. Organize or re-organize a project corner with your child with paper, colored pencils, markers, a mirror, books, pictures on the wall, and add to it as the ideas flow. Send us back some ideas so we can share with other families.
There are 25 of you!
7 of you started in the Toddler House.
2 of you have been at GTS for 5 years.
5 of you have been in your Primary community for 4 years!
You went on 8 Field Trips and had 7 Lunches-around-the-World.
You are going to 13 different schools next year.
7 of you have older siblings who completed Kindergarten at Greene Towne.
15 of you have younger siblings at or coming to Greene Towne and we can’t wait to watch them grow in the years ahead.
All of our best wishes as you head off to summer vacation and your new schools!
Read on to enjoy your entire interviews and see your self-portraits:
I like doing art with Ms Emily. I like movement with Ms Andi. The best thing about being a Kindergartener is doing projects. Once we exploded a volcano. I like writing stories. I just wrote a story about a mouse, a dog, and a girl. Then I wrote another story about a dinosaur. It’s a nice dinosaur. My favorite work in the classroom is Pickle and Popcorn work. My favorite LATW was at Aya’s Café because they have good food and I always go there. The Clay Studio was my favorite field trip. We made anything we wanted to make out of clay. My favorite challenging work is Math and Reading. I’ll remember a lot of things.
Art Class is the funnest thing in Kindergarten because you get to make special things. I like the special work I get to do. I like work about things we’re studying. My favorite work is flags. Sri Lanka was the hardest flag I did. There is a lion with a sword. It was pretty hard but I did it! I’ve done the flags of every continent. I liked all the LATWs. The music field trip was my favorite because I love music; it’s my favorite subject. I’ll probably remember my friends and I’m definitely coming back for a visit!
Kids have a fun time at Greene Towne! I mostly like doing everything but my favorite is After School and Art classes. Making books is my favorite work in the classroom. We write stories with our imagination. The one I’m writing now is about a horse named Spirit. He’s a horse with a black mane and tail and he’s really strong. Maps are really challenging, especially the United States map. I’ve done the World Map, South America, North America, Canada, Australia, and now I’m on the United States. My favorite field trip was the Morris Arboretum. My mom got to come and my grandma works there! It was so cool seeing the birds’ nest. What I liked best about that trip was seeing the green house and the pond. It’s really cool because there are little fishes in it.
I like Movement class – dancing is fun. Having Kindergarten time is fun too. We do work like Math. I liked the Multiplication Bead Box. It was hard but I felt good when I finished it. I like working with Henry, we do Maps together. We just did the South America Map together. My favorite field trip was the Clay Studio. My mom went. I made a Turtle.
The best thing about being a Kindergartener is doing the Hundred Board. I’m going to do the spiral design soon where 1 is in its regular place and 100 is in the middle. That’s my favorite work. I like Math like Addition Strip Board, Bank Game and Stamp Game too. I like seeing my art work on the wall. In Art you can make anything. I don’t have a favorite artist, I like all of them. During Kindergarten time we read chapter books. I like to read. Green Eggs and Ham is one I like. My favorite field trip was to the Fire House. Italy was my favorite LATW because I’m from Italy. My dad’s Italian. I also like doing maps. My favorite was Canada. I have a lot of maps at home. I’ve done a lot of maps!
I like Science. At Kindergarten time we make projects like Volcanoes. I’ll remember making art stuff. Frank Kupka was my favorite because he’s an artist who makes paintings of things he likes. He uses his imagination. My favorite work is the Pink Tower and the Brown Stair. I like to play with them; we make forts and hideouts. I like working with Mark and Nate. My favorite challenging work is tree stance. You stand very still on one leg. My favorite field trip was Grumblethorpe. I liked the house. There was a clock with a sun and a moon on it. Outside we looked at the chickens and we played. And I’ll remember summer camp.
When you’re a Kindergartener you have to be kind and listen to the teachers. The best thing about being a Kindergartener is doing projects. We made Dinosaur feet out of tissue boxes and we decorated them with paper – black, brown, and green and green toes made of sponges. During K time I like helping and doing chores – rolling up rugs, putting away dishes and sweeping and mopping. My favorite work is my journal. Today I wrote “I like Ms. Grady.” Once I wrote “I love animals.” I mostly like the Red Rods and Play dough. The field trip to make clay things was my favorite. My favorite LATW was Italy because I have a friend who lives in Italy. We had spaghetti and meatballs and sauce. I’ll probably remember Ms Pysher and Mrs. Kalesse. And you can’t be silly if your mom and dad come to visit.
I’m doing Animals-Around-the-World for the second time. I did it a long time ago. It takes a long time. It’s my favorite work. It takes a couple of days to do all of them because you have to color in the animals and write the names. You learn reading and you color the continent and write the animal’s name. The lion is my favorite and the snake is my second favorite. The lion is from Africa and the snake is from Asia. The best thing about being a Kindergartener is making dinosaur feet. We started it during K time. We get to do stuff like going on field trips. My favorite was the Fire Station because we got to shoot the hose.
The best thing about being a Kindergartener is that I get to write in my journal. I do different fonts – balloon font and crackly font. I like writing in my journal and I like writing which Kindergartener came to school first and which came last. I like to do subtraction and division work. It’s hard but I like it. I liked Grumblethorpe because we got to run around and we got to see the chickens. One of the chickens laid an egg. I liked the LATW where we made masks. I think it was Italy. We got to draw on the masks and put stickers on them.
I like being a Kindergartener because it’s really fun and you get to have K time and learn things. I learn the word-of-the-day. We do post person. It’s a kind of crazy game; it’s fun. Something that’s not so fun about being a K is when I’m reading a book in the library, little kids tap me for help and then I lose my place in the library. At K time my favorite thing with Mr. Aurelien is the Silence Game. Usually we do it for 3 minutes but yesterday we voted to do it for 10 minutes and we succeeded. I was just thinking about being silent. My favorite work is making books – they’re about things I like, I like helping the younger kids but not when I’m in the middle of a book. My favorite field trips were the Morris Arboretum and Grumblethorpe because they were so interesting and so fun. Grumblethorpe is a big, big, big house. They taught us that in the old days they put a candle in front of a mirror to reflect the light around the room. My favorite LATW was Italy because my mom and dad and I hosted it.
The best thing about being a Kindergartener is doing stuff you didn’t do before. I’m doing Multiplication Beda Bars now. You have to go all the way to the 10s and I’m only on 4s now. During Kindergarten time I work on chains. I’m doing the 1000 chain with Anika now. It’s taking a lot of days. We might finish it this week. My favorite field trips were the ones my mom and my dad went to. My dad went to Chinatown and my mom went to Morris Arboretum. Sometimes I do reading. I like the Bob Books. I’ll have a picture of all the Ks so I’ll remember them. It’s a lot of work being a Kindergartener and a big brother because I always have to do stuff with my brother when my mom and my dad are busy. In Movement and Music we do songs and dances. My favorite dance is “Come in a hurry”.
I like helping younger kids with fun things like jump rope. I love book making – I have it out right now. I’m writing about Ninjas. I don’t know how many but I’ve made a lot. I’ve done every Chain on the Chain shelf. The 10 Chain took the longest. It took tow days. I did the 9 Chain with Becker. The 1 and 2 Chain are the fastest. The best thing about being a K is we get to do new works and read in the library longer. The thing I really like about being a K is eating lunch at school. My dad packs me things I really like. I’m exited I’m going to be in school with my brother and cousins next year. I liked Grumblethorpe and Morris Arboretum. We went into the tree house about 20 feet up in the air. My favorite LATW was India and Africa and Europe. I like Maps too. Being a Kindergartener is fun because I learn new stuff every day. Becker takes karate class with me and we both know the same things. I work with Trevor in the morning.
I like the Math Beads and all the Math work like Addition Strip Board. The best thing about being a Kindergartener is Art class with Ms Emily. I like the patterns we make and I like to paint. I liked the Frank Kupka painting. We made circles and they could go off the paper and then we painted them in. I like drawing too. My favorite field trip was the Clay Studio because my mom came on it. I like playing with clay and moving my hands like that. I made a rabbit and painted it yellow, purple, red and green and it went into the kiln. We saw the museum too.
The best thing about being a Kindergartener is you get to help the little kids. That’s fun because you make more friends. I like helping them with the Pink Tower and the Brown Stair and Mirror Polishing. And I also like to read to them a lot. I like reading the Gingerbread Boy and the Fox books. They’re about a fox. Math work is my favorite, like Stamp Game. My 2nd favorite work is reading and writing. I like to write stories about my family and my friends. I write about things that really happened. My favorite field trip was Reading Terminal Market because we got to go on a little hunt for signs and we got to put money in Philbert. He’s a giant piggy bank. My favorite LATW was India because I’m from India and my mom and dad and grandma and my friend’s mom were there. We ate Chicken Tikka and Dahl and we learned a Bhangra. It’s a dance in India. My favorite Art I did with Ms Emily was the fish. I got to weave and we used buttons, bubble wrap, and popsicle sticks and we also painted them.
My favorite subject is Art. Georgia O’Keefe is my favorite. She made flowers look really big. She didn’t show the stem or leaf, just the flower. We made paintings like Georgia O’Keefe with water colors. I like Flower Arranging work. You get to choose any flowers and any vase and then put them around the classroom wherever you want. I also like multiplication Bead Board. I finished it in two days. That was fast and it was tricky. I like to read the Henry and Mudge books. Henry is a boy and Mudge is his dog, they’re funny. I liked the Reading Terminal field trip best. We did a scavenger hunt and had to find things that come from a chicken and things that come from a cow. I liked Philbert the Pig the best. He’s a giant piggy bank and we dropped money in him. I think the best thing about being a Kindergartener is helping the little kids.
My favorite work is writing books - a lot of people do it. I write stories from my imagination. Sometimes I write about animals. I’m writing one now; I think it’s my 5th book. I like doing my journal and I’ve finished it. I like the Rubber Band Board too. The best thing about being a Kindergartener is that we get to go on field trips. My favorite LATW was Aya’s Café – it has such yummy food! I really liked the Clay Studio. We made things out of clay. I made a turtle. It’s at home with my collection of clay things. I like that we get to have Kindergarten time. On Thursday we have Art. The rest of the days it’s a mystery what we’ll learn. You just never know!
I like to write creative things. I write creative sentences. Sometimes they’re about questions Ms Matsukevich puts up and sometimes they’re about something out of my head. I like to trace the World Maps. Right now I’m finishing the Australia map. I’m coloring it with markers. Kindergarteners get to do a lot of great things like Art with Ms Emily. I like to be a Kindergartener because I like to do creative things. My favorite artist we learned about is Eric Carle. That was my favorite project. I made a shark. He’s grey, dark blue, light blue, red and green. My favorite challenging work is Minus work with 1000s, 100s, 10s, and ones. My favorite field trip is the Library because I get to choose a book and I like the stories the librarian reads. Being a Kindergartener is not easy. The work is hard but I like the work we do.
The best thing about being a Kindergartener is that I’m the youngest one. My favorite work is Metal Insets. I like to trace them and then make zigzaggy lines. Sometimes I like to do more than one shape. You trace the first one and then you trace a second one over it and then you trace a third one and then you make the zigzaggy lines. I also like Dulce words. I’ve done all the boxes. My favorite things to do are reading and drawing and I like writing. My favorite field trip so far was the fire fighter one because I got to spray the hose and I almost hit a car with it! Puerto Rico was my favorite LATW – the cookies were delicious! I asked my dad to make them – my dad’s were delicious too. I think I’ll remember the story of me and Daniella sitting on the steps the first day of school.
The best thing about being a Kindergartener is doing my journal every day. I like the questions. Yesterday’s question was, “What would you do if you were invisible?” I said I would tap everyone in the class room with my pinkie finger. I also like play dough. I like Art class. We made flowers like Georgia O’Keefe. They’re giant! Let me think because I liked all the field trips. Grumblethorpe was my favorite because my mom came. We made caterpillars out of clay. The colors were black, yellow, and white and a little green. Those caterpillars turn into Monarch butterflies. My favorite LATW was Italy. We had spaghetti and meatballs. The most challenging work I’ve done is the list of 100 words – it’s not really a work. I haven’t done it yet but I know the 10 Chain will be challenging. My favorite besides doing my journal is a word work. It’s called the 3 and 4 letter words box. There are cards with words on one side and a picture on the other side. You read the word and then turn it over to see if you got the word right.
I’ll remember my class and Movement and going on field trips. My favorite field trip is the library because we can get books and take them home. I like Jack and Annie books. Now I’m reading Vacation under the Volcano. My favorite work is Maps. It takes a long time to do a map. It took 3 days to do Africa and when I did Europe, I think it took 2 days. Europe is the best. I did Europe and Africa and a lot of other ones. I lost my Europe map but I’m going to do it over again. Then the only one I’ll have left to do is Asia. I like doing Chains too. I did the little Chains and a big one. I haven’t done all the Long Chains yet.
The best thing about being a Kindergartener is the projects. There was a volcano project and cutting pumpkins, ghosts and bats. During Kindergarten time we write in our journals or work. Animals- Around-the-World is my favorite work because you color the animals and write their names. My favorite animal is a panda; it’s from Asia. Map work is hard, you trace the shapes then you color in the shapes with marker then you label the countries. Reading Terminal was my favorite field trip because my mom was there. We hunted for food!
I’ll remember I have a lot of friends at Greene Towne and that I have a nice teacher and that Ms Coulter had a baby. The best thing about being a Kindergartener is that I get to do a lot of challenging works and you meet new friends. I like the Chains and writing books is sometimes challenging because there are lots of new words to learn. Josie and I are making books about wild ponies and it’s a series. I’ll miss my friends but Gabby’s going to my school too. My favorite field trip was Grumblethorpe. There were lots of flowers and we made butterflies. We also got to pump the well to see if it still works. It didn’t work. My favorite LATWs were Italy and India. We got to wear bindis and my mom was there. The best thing about being a Kindergartener is that I love, love being with my friends and sometimes my family because my mom and dad come on trips.
I’ll remember the Chains and the Maps. I did a lot of Maps! I think I’ve done 6 or 7. My favorite Map is a complicated one, it’s Africa. It’s complicated because it has so many countries. I like to do the Chains. I’m at the 8 Chain. My next Chain will be the 9 chain and I think it will take about two weeks to complete it. The 10th Chain I think will take about 10 weeks! My favorite field trip was to Chinatown because I love fortune cookies and we saw how they’re made. My favorite LATW was Italy because all the Ks would be used to that food. I tried new foods at LATW. One was a kind of bread; I forgot the name if it but it was good! I’ll remember that Greene Towne has five classrooms. The classrooms are not all together, there are two on the bottom floor and 3 on the top. There are three floors. Movement is for Ms Matsukevich and Ms Coulter on Monday and Thursday and for Ms Pysher and Ms Prestas on Tuesday and Friday. And music is only on Wednesday for everyone.
I like doing my journal. The best thing about being a Kindergartener is helping younger children. I help them do work and I show them how to do work. It makes me feel good to help them. My favorite field trip was going to the Academy of Natural Sciences. We looked at Dinosaur bones and sea shells and we learned about bugs. Puerto Rico was my favorite LATW. We had rice and beans. I’ll remember the people at Greene Towne - all my friends and the teachers.
I’m going to remember going to Movement and Music. I like them because we play a lot of games. I’ll also remember Art class. We draw pictures and paint. We once did clay, we made owls. We also did collage and printmaking. I’ll remember the Math work and my journal. In Math I like the Chains, Bank Game, Stamp Game, Multiplication Bead Board, and Addition Strip Board. I write a lot of things in my journal. Sometimes I write about things that really happened and sometimes about things in my imagination. The best thing about being a Kindergartener is giving little children lessons.
Dear GTMS Parents,
The Diversity and Programming Committee is seeking current GTMS families to help with our host program by volunteering to welcome new GTMS families into their classroom for the 2013-2014 school year.
The Host Program was created to help new families feel more welcome and to put them at greater ease about starting a new a school.
We are looking for volunteers in each classroom who would be willing to do the following:
1. Contact your new family in early August and introduce yourself and your role.
2. Invite the new student and/or family for a play date or informal get together.
3. Encourage new parents to attend the Classroom Potluck, Fall Picnic, Auction and other school events.
4. Periodically check in with the family throughout the year via phone or email to see how they’re doing.
If you would like to volunteer to be a Host Family please reply to this email with your name and classroom teacher. Or simply drop off the form below to the front office by June 7. If you have any questions about the program please contact Julie Kaeli at 201-978-3069 or . We will notify you by August 1 with the name of your assigned family.
We would like to be a Welcome Family next fall:
If you did not pre-order Sesame Place tickets but still want to join other Greene Towne families on Monday, June 10, you may purchase a ticket at the gate for the walk-in group rate of $50. Just say you are with the Greene Towne School OR you can buy a two-day ticket for 65. and then you can go on two days during the 2013 season.
Summer is a great time of year with longer days and a slower pace for families to spend time together. A few things to keep in mind and some ideas for fun family activities:
Children like a routine. Too much free time can lead to uncertainty and a lot of questions for mom and dad. “What’s next?” “Why can’t we go to the park today?” Set up a schedule for the day and for older children a schedule for the week. Point out to them, “Now it's clean up time” and later on is “Outing time”. Set a timer so that they can begin to understand that time is passing.
Some ideas from parents for outings: Fireman’s Hall, Penn’s bookstore, Septa Store, riding a bus, taking the train to Narberth for a fun town and playground or to Delaware Valley College (Doylestown) where there is a working farm and farm stand (the train stop is on the campus). Simple trips: to the mountains for a hike and picnic, to the beach, to visit a craftsperson.
More ideas: Make a summertime or vacation diary of pictures and dictated words/stories, do a photo journal with your child during vacation—do a picture/per day of them or by them and log it, make a scrapbook with them. Read classic chapter books and poetry. Some favorites are the Narnia series, Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein. Ask your librarian for more suggestions.
Get a theme going. Explore croissants, brownie recipes, homemade lemonade, concerts at Rittenhouse Square. Get out a map of the city and put it up on the wall. Mark where you’re going and where you’ve been. Use it to plan out the route.
Begin to share one of your passions with your child/ren—be it food, gardening, music, hiking, biking. Remember they’ll need mini steps. Children get mesmerized when they see an adult focused and excited.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD. . .
BEST FRIENDS ARE NOT ALWAYS FOREVER -- ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE 3, 4, 5, or 6
The preschool through kindergarten years are a time for great social growth in our children. They are learning the social skills they need to have satisfying relationships with others throughout their lives. Just like with other areas of their development, some children are able to learn these skills easily while others need more time and practice.
Parents often become concerned if their child does not have a special friend. They may feel that when their child has a special friend, it means their child has developed the needed social skills and will thus be successful socially.
Having a special friend can be fine. However, I would like to suggest that there are far more "pitfalls" for a child with a "best" friend than for children who have no special friend, but are able to get along with everyone.
When a child at this age has a "best" friend, there can develop a dependency of one child on the other. One child may be manipulated or dominated by the other child. The "best friends" may remove themselves from contact with other children so their exposure to other types of personalities is limited. They may try to exclude others from their relationship creating hard feelings and giving rise to unkind words. The "best" friends' relationship may end badly -- leaving one or both of the children feeling left out if no other relationships have been established.
What I would like to suggest is not so much that we discourage a child from having a "best" friend, but rather that we promote a child's social growth by encouraging play dates and exposure to other children simultaneously.
It is important for your children to know that they can have all kinds of friends -- not just one. My experience has been that many children do not innately recognize this concept without some intervention on our part. Different situations cause us to encounter different people. Children need to have a social comfort level to be able to handle these occurrences.
These thoughts have evolved from observing children and their relationships over many years. We hope you will find them helpful. We also hope that you will promote and encourage your child to have many friends and experience the joy in having a variety of relationships.
Mary Ann Jackson, Head of School, The Montessori School (Morrisville)
about friendships among young children.
For families that do not have a K student
8-9am: Drop off as usual
10:30-10:45am: Toddler House Dismissal
10:30-10:45am: Parents may pick up younger Primary students from the classroom and say goodbye to the teachers.
10:45am: All Primary Students Dismissed from lobby (ADM not in session.)
For families with a K student
8-9am: Drop off as usual
10:45-11am: Parents can pick up younger siblings from lobby and head upstairs for K Recognition Ceremony
11:15am: K Recognition Ceremony
Noon: School Closed.
Parents often ask, “How can we support what you do at school in our home?” One way is to inform yourself of what we do at Greene Towne and a great way to do that is to read more about Montessori! Summer is a great time to catch up on parenting reading! We have many useful titles in our school library and there are many more books available at book stores and on line.
From our School Parent Library:
One Hundred Child Development Tips: Insights and Suggestions from Montessori Teachers, Heather Pederson, Ph.D.
Montessori, A Modern Approach, Paula Polk Lillard
Montessori Madness! A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Education.
by Trevor Eissler.
Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, Angeline Stoll Lillard
Montessori From the Start, The Child at Home from Birth to Age Three,
Paula Polk Lillard
How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way, Tim Seldin
A Parent’s Guide to the Montessori Classroom, Aline Wolf
Books worth acquiring for your home library:
The Blessings of a Skinned Knee, Wendy Mogel
Nurture Shock: New Thinking about Children , Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Winner of the "Best Parenting/Childcare Book" Award for Books for Better Life and highly recommended by our teachers!
This is also a great time to catch up on your Tomorrow’s Child reading. When you’re finished, pass your back issues along to friends, family members and care givers who love your child and who may be interested in learning more about Montessori!
Greene Towne School Parent Library Book Return
And while you have books on your mind, please double check at home for any GTS Library books that you may have forgotten to return. Every summer we inventory the library, and as of now we do know that there are some books we would like to see returned so that everyone may enjoy them. Good places to look: Under the bed, behind the couch, in a kitchen drawer, in your own library or in the car. Thanks so much for your help!
The last classes are as follows:
Martial Arts 6/3
Yoga/Movement (Tuesdays) 5/28
K Photography 5/29
Spanish (3pm) 5/29
Spanish (4pm) 5/29
Yoga/Movement (Thursdays) 5/30
“If humans had used only speech to communicate their thought, if their wisdom had been expressed in words alone, no traces would remain of past generations. It is thanks to the hand, the companion of the mind, that civilization has arisen. The hand has been the organ of this great gift that we inherit.
Montessori’s recognition of the role of the hand in developing human intelligence is unique. We know that we are the only species to possess pincer grasp of thumb and forefinger. Yet, we seldom reflect that all human achievements, whether in medicine, science, technology, or art, are the result of the union of the human intellect and this unique grasp of the hand in the mature adult. In the child, it is the actions of the hand guided by the intellect that create a feedback loop of information: the hand reports to the brain, the brain guides the hand by this new information, the hand discovers more information by carrying out the new direction, and reports again to the brain. This process is a continuous action of learning and development. When the development of the child is allowed to proceed naturally in this way throughout the child’s education—in other words, according to nature’s plan that the mind and the hand operate in unity—the results are astonishing.
Montessori discovered the role of the child’s hand in developing the intelligence by intuitive observation. She then took this discovery to its logical conclusion by emphasizing the importance of the hand as an educational tool. Although an increasing number of neurological studies now validate Montessori’s conclusions about the role of the hand in developing intelligence, no other educational approach is based so much upon this key revelation. Excerpt from Montessori From The Start: The Child at Home from Birth to Age Three by Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen available in our Parent Library.
Parent to Child and Therapy Associates
One-session class offered the First* Tuesday of every month from 7:30-9pm
September 10th (*2nd Tuesday)
Parent Coaching is also available with Alex and our other family therapists. Call for a consultation.
Do you worry that your attempts at being caring and compassionate with your child are overindulgent? Do you worry that your attempts to bring discipline into your child’s life are leaving scars? And do you ever find yourself or you and your partner yo-yoing between the two extremes? Finding the middle ground is never easy. This one-session class is designed to help parents develop some tools for finding the middle ground, learn about the many benefits this can hold, and have the opportunuty to problem solve about specific parenting scenarios with parent educator, Alex Hoedeman-Eiteljorg M.Ed.
Alex Hoedeman-Eiteljorg M.Ed. will weave together his experiences as a teacher, family therapist, and parent educator with current brain research to discuss the central importance of your relationship with your children and how this relationship can empower them to thrive while tackling the challenges of childhood and adulthood alike.
One-Session Class. $30. Advance registration required.
** July’s class will be an experiential discussion group focused on visualizing and exploring our changing identities as we become parents. Kathryn Snyder, MA, ATR-BC, LPC will lead this engaging time together.
1722 Pine Street, Floor 1, Philadelphia PA 19103 • 215.450.5271• parent2child.net
Art Splash: A Summer of Art and Fun for the Whole Family
School is almost out, but the Philadelphia Museum of Art is always open to families! Starting June 28, the Museum’s Perelman Building will be transformed into a hot spot for kids and their grown-ups, with five family-friendly exhibitions, Pay What You Wish festivals, interactive art and play zones, and daily family programs. Come by anytime to explore, create, and play.
All Art Splash programs are free after Museum admission. Remember, kids twelve and under are always free!
Visit http://www.philamuseum.org/artsplash for more information.
“The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.” Maria Montessori
There is very little, if any, learning without concentration. In the Montessori classroom lengthening each child’s attention span is a long-range purpose of nearly every activity. For example if a child is doing the dishwashing exercise, he is not only having a sensorial experience with the water, improving his coordination, and learning to follow a sequence of actions, but, most importantly, he is extending his concentration on one activity to ten or fifteen minutes. Respect for each child’s attention is very evident throughout the room, as a Montessori teacher rarely interrupts a child who is focused on work.
Cultivating a child’s power of concentration actually begins before the child is three. Concentration is a fragile mind-set that can easily be interrupted by adults who do not understand that age 0-3 is the formative stage for this lifelong power. For example, a young child may be floating sticks in a puddle or lining up pots and pans on the kitchen floor when the caretaker decides, “Enough of this mess,” and abruptly ends the activity.
To interfere with a child’s concentration in order to change her messy clothes or clean up a cluttered floor is to put appearances ahead of the child’s psychic development. If a child’s cycle of activity is interrupted, the results are a deviation of behavior, aimlessness and loss of interest…So whatever intelligent activity we witness in a child – even if it seems absurd to us…we must not interfere; for the child must be able to finish the cycle of activity on which his heart is set.”*
Although deep respect for concentration is the ideal, there are times in every family when a child’s activity must be brought to an end – such as when dinner is ready or it is time to leave for school. When this happens it is best to alert the child ahead of time or give an alternative. Ten to fifteen minutes before it is time to leave say, “Five more minutes to build with your blocks.” After five minutes you can say, “Do you want help putting way your blocks or can you do it yourself?” Or, “I know you are trying to finish your puzzle but it is almost time to go. You may leave it there on the floor and finish it after school.”
Because no one acting on the child from outside can cause him to concentrate**, Montessori cautions us to take special care of a child’s spontaneous periods of concentration. If you frequently encroach on them, this essential tool for learning may not flourish. If nurtured, seeds of concentrated activity can blossom, in time, into healthy periods of work and study.
*The Absorbent Mind. p. 160.
**Ibid. p. 222
adapted from Montessori Insights for Parents of Young Children by Aline Wolf, available in GTMS Parent Library
Last month we planted so many new plants and seeds in our roof top container garden. The rain and sun have been doing their work. Take a look to see what is growing: Strawberries, Blueberries, Thyme, Pole Beans, Hostas, Snapdragons, Chocolate Mint, Lavender, Dianthus, Pansies, Worms, and…Children!
“It was very hard for me to learn how to read. It did not seem logical for the letter ‘m’ to be called ‘em,’ and yet with some vowel following it you did not say ‘ema’ but ‘ma.’ It was impossible for me to read that way. At last, when I went to the Montessori school, the teacher did not teach me the names of consonants but their sounds. In this way I could read the first book I found in a dusty chest in the storeroom of the house. It was tattered and incomplete, but it involved me in so intense a way that Sara’s fiancé had a terrifying premonition as he walked by: ‘This kid’s going to be a writer.’”
Gabriel Gárcia Márquez
Nobel Prize recipient for Literature
After a child learns the sandpaper letters, she is ready to make words with the large moveable alphabet. For this activity the teacher prepares a collection of miniature objects or picture cards representing three letter words with the short vowel sound, such as a bed, a lid, a fan, and a cup.
First, the child selects an object or card, such as the bed, and says the name of it very slowly so she can hear each sound – b…e…d. She then selects the letter to represent the first sound and places it beside the object on a mat. Next she selects the letter for the second sound and finally the third. Montessori called this activity “word building.” The fact that the child is manipulating material at this stage is important because she still concentrates best on something she is doing with her hands. The child usually continues the word building process for a long period of time. The classroom offers a wide variety of small toy-like figures and pictures for which she can build names. Gradually the difficulty of the nouns increases from three-letter words like pig, to four-letter words containing a consonant blend, such as flag, to longer words with special sounds like chair and silent “e” such as skate.
Adapted from A Parent’s Guide to the Montessori Classroom by Aline Wolf
Saturday morning, before the picnic, friends and families gathered at Greene Towne to honor Jean Prestas and celebrate her 25 years as a lead teacher at Greene Towne. Current and former students along with their parents joined in feting Jean and her years of dedicated Montessori guidance. We heard about Jean’s dedication to Montessori and her students through the years from former colleague, current friend and alum parent, Maria Kaminstein, whose own son, Christopher, was a student of Jean’s in the late 1980s.
Thank you to the Celebration Committee for creating a beautiful celebration for Jean:
Gift Coordinator/Mastermind: Tania Attanasio with creative assistance from Emily Grant
Photographer: Anna Chandra
Catering Liaison: Becky Cornejo
Volunteer Coordinator/Welcome committee: Miriam Hill
And…Julie Kaeli, Terrilyn McCormick, Kristy Moses-Murray, Amy Perkins, Nick Simon, Anahita Deboo, and April Trissel!